Show #78 Interview: D.J. Svoboda, creator of the Imagifriends of Imagiville

My name is Daniel John Svoboda. I am 24 years old. I was born on September 22, 1982 in Shaw AFB, S.C. At the age of three, I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder with Psychomotor Retardation. During my school years I went through some very difficult times. I was often picked on by other people and made fun of. It was from these very difficult situations that The Imagifriends were born. The Imagifriends live in a place called "Imagiville." In this imaginary place, no one is ever picked on or mistreated in any way. They are loved and accepted for who they are. Everyone in Imagiville helps and cares for one another.

Each Imagifriend that I draw is different. They come in many sizes, colors, and designs. None of them are ever mean or cruel. They each have their own special job and purpose in Imagiville. Every Imagifriend knows that as long as they have a kind heart, it does not matter what they look like. Some of them are physically or mentally handicapped but that's O.K.!

I want to use the Imagifriends to help the Autistic and handicapped know that they are special just the way they are. My dream is to one day write and illustrate books for children. I have also created the Imagifriends coloring book and I do "Imaginames." That is where I create an Imagifriend out of the letters of your name and connect them. I donate a portion of what I earn to the Autistic Society and to my wonderful church, Hope Community Church.

Being Autistic has presented me with many challenges in my life. From these challenges I have learned to never give up. I want to thank the Lord for giving me the talent to draw and I want to be able to use my art to help others. Remember: "Everyone Is Special Just The Way They Are."

D.J. Svoboda

http://www.myimagiville.com

Today's Closing song was provided by Scott James Through My Eyes visit Scott at www.scottjames.org. Have a Great Week Everybody

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